About mentoring

What is mentoring?

Mentoring helps young people to get more out of childhood and lay the foundations for a fulfilling future.

Children need support from positive and trusted adults to help them on their life-journey. They need advice and guidance, access to new experiences, someone to value them as they are, to listen and understand them, who respects their identity, gives them a positive view of themselves, and who encourages them to develop, grow and learn new things.

The children and young people we help are all different, but all have one thing in common: they are facing multiple disadvantages.

Most have limited social interaction with people outside their home, and many have not had opportunities to do things in life that other children and young people take for granted: a simple trip to the cinema or a visit to the park.

Whatever a child’s particular circumstances, our mentors are there to provide them with that little bit of extra support and kindness to help them manage life’s everyday challenges, build their confidence, have fun and experience new things.

What do mentors do?

Mentors give long term support by meeting with a young person for three out of four weekends. Mentoring activities are straightforward, with the focus firmly on developing a friendship. You might visit a museum, go to a cafe, or pursue a shared interest like sport or crafts.

Mentors don’t always transform a child’s life. But just being there makes a difference. With a mentor, young people have a chance to enjoy their childhood away from their problems. Through friendship, you’ll help a child to explore the world around them and their own potential. You’ll give them access to new opportunities, experiences and different perspectives on life, as well as helping them develop new life-skills.

It is a big commitment: we ask our mentors to meet regularly with mentees for a two year period. But the rewards are enormous.

Find out more about the skills you need to be a mentor

Read some of our mentoring stories

Download a volunteer information pack

Find out more about the application process

Apply to be a mentor